Hey guys! So today I am answering a question I have been asked so many times; which bag do I reccomend the most, the Loewe Barcelona, or the Loewe Puzzle bag. I can't believe how many emails and comments I have received asking about these two bags, so I thought I would give you the run down here.
Loewe Puzzle - £1,375
I am going to start with the one I have had for longest; the Puzzle. I bought this in Paris in February, after seeing so many pictures of it on Instagram, I completely fell in love. I am not a huge bag person, so I don't often really really fall for a bag, but this one ticked all the boxes. What I really liked about it was it's understated luxury, something all Loewe bags do so well. I am not a fan of obvious branding, but if I am spending this much money on something then I want it to look expensive; and this bag certainly achieves that.
I opted for the smaller size, simply because I was on the lookout for a smaller bag at the time. And in black as it's the safest option for an investment, but I do think this design lends itself best to the coloured options.
The Best Bits:
- This bag is seriously durable. I have used mine so much since I got it and it hasn't got a mark on it. When I spend this much money on an item I want to actually wear it, not feel so precious about it so that is spends most of it's time in a dust bag. And this bag is perfect for heavy, everyday use.
- Because of the structure of the bag, you can really fill it with stuff and it will still hold it's shape. I have ruined bags by over filling them, which is a lesson to be learnt, but it is a necessity to carry a decent amount of stuff around day to day, so a bag that only caters for a credit card and a lipstick will never work for me. I comfortably carry around two small cameras, a huge set of keys, a full sized wallet, iPhone 6 plus, lipsticks and a tonne of receipts in this bag.
- The adjustable strap. I really love this aspect of the bag, as it makes it so versatile. I tend to wear it one of three ways; holding the top handle (which changes the structure of the bag, in a good way), cross body, of at the side of my body on the shoulder strap. The strap has five different length options, so you can swap and change these styles of wearing it everyday.
The Worst Bits:
- I don't think it's the smartest bag in the world, so I never feel it's as versatile for evenings. It's shape and matte leather makes it feel far more casual.
- Despite being small, it's one that takes a bit of rooting around to find what you're after in there. Invariably when I finally do find it I also end up dragging several other items out with it. Not ideal!
Would I Reccomend?
10000000% YES! I love it so much, I love just as much as the day I got it, and I don't see myself tiring of it anytime soon. It's a timeless piece without being boring. It's durability makes it a great longterm piece, and one you can definitely get the cost per wear down on!
Loewe Barcelona - £1,625
I bought this back in April, as a bit of an impulse buy. I was feeling a gap in my handbag collection as the Puzzle didn't feel smart enough for some occassions, but having bought an expensive bag just a few months earlier I had not planned to buy another so soon. And then one day I wandered through Selfridges and saw this and completely loved it. I have written a review about this bag before, which you can read here. So to avoid repeating myself too much I will focus about how it has worn longer term.
The Best Bits:
- It looks amazing. I think it beats the Puzzle in terms of looks, and I always get so many compliments on it. I think its more chic than the Puzzle, and is one I wear in the evenings and during the day.
- It fits a surprising amount in it! It's way roomier inside than it looks. And with three compartments it's so quick and easy to find things too. No routing around required!
- It's super functional too, which was something I was worried about when I first got it. It's fastening with the triangle/loop mechanism looked really fiddly, but it's actually not at all. I can easily open and close this with one hand, and sometimes I leave the triangle to hang down the side of the bag, as the flap is quite secure without it.
- As with the Puzzle, it has an adjustable strap.. see all the reasons above for while I love that.
The Worst Bits:
- The leather is a lot softer than the Puzzle, so it does mark easier. Although I would still describe this bag as durable. I was concerned the metal on the triangle would snag the leather, but that hasn't been an issue at all. I did manage to scratch it with my nail a while ago which left a rather long mark.
- I am struggling to say anything else negative about this bag, as it's proven to be such a great investment and all rounder piece! Perhaps the only other thing is that it's quite a statement, so can get boring. When we went to Vancouver and Seattle I only took this bag with me, it was great to wear with all my outfits but I did get a little bored of it. But perhaps that would be the case with any bag!
I love both of these bags, a lot. I find myself reaching for my Barcelona a little more often at the moment, but in terms of everyday use and durability the Puzzle has to come out on top. I think they both achieve an understated luxury without being heavily branded. They are more a designer bag that you would only recognise if you knew that specific style, rather than having Chanel or YSL emblazoned all over it - that's something I personally love, but I know that isn't for everyone.
Looking at the prices, I wouldn't say the Barcelona is worth anymore than the Puzzle - and while all know how obscene handbag prices are there is something about the £1.5k price tag which I find really really hard to get on board with. Although, I cleary managed it this time, and have no regrets!
Shop both styles here: